In the age of Shakespeare, life was really quite simple. The existential question of the day was a simple one: to eat or not to eat. Or, if you were of the privileged classes, with enough time on your hands to suffer from existential angst, the question du jour was summarized in Hamlet's immortal question:"To Be or Not to Be?"
That was a weighty question, for sure. But it has nothing like the complexith of the dilemmas that confront modern-day social media users every single day.
Know that little Like Thumbs Up button on Facebook and the RT button on Twitter? Yes, exactly, in our social media-driven culture, the existential dilemma faced by us modern-day human beings is something altogether far more complex: To Like or not to Like? To Retweet or not to Retweet?
We are no longer Homo Sapiens, the Thinking Mammals, we are the we are Homo SM-piens, Social Media-consuming Mammals. And this really introduces a whole new level of complexity in our lives.
In the case of Facebook, for example, let's say I Like the fact that my friend Ellen just posted a link to a recipe for millet soup. But I fail to Like Judy's recipe for Hearty Banana Broccoli Buckwheat stew. Well, all of a suddent, now I have hurt Judy's feelings - without as much as lifting finger.
Even worse, let's say I Like John Stewart's Rally for Insanity. Then I run the risk of alienating my Tea Party neighbor and just as bad, offending my Christian Right father-in-law, who is convinced that it's really the devil's Rally for In-Sanity.
Oh Facebook. Don't you just love to hate it? I have to admit, I didn't get Facebook at first. I thought it was just another marketing ploy to introduce more random busyness into my life. Like information overload on steroids.
But I have to admit, even I am starting to get it. Thanks to Facebook, I know that my cousin in Denmark, whom I haven't seen for about three decades, had scones for breakfast, and that she likes to play bridge on Tuesday nights with her quasi boy friend..
Thanks to Facebook, I know that one of the girls I took massage training with five years ago now is a lesbian, and recently had a baby with her "significant other." And thanks to Facebook, I can go in and check up on that boy I had a crush on in high school. And, now, based on his profile picture, I know that the fact that he ignored me all through senior year, was actually a blessing in disguise.
But it gets better than that. Facebook has solved one of the biggest, long-standing problems faced by the human race: How to find your true soul mate. Facebook dating apps like Zoosk, Are You Interested?, and Datepad, will match you up with eligible singles in your area.
And they are not just any eligible singles. It's the ones that Like the same thing you do, watch the same TV shows you do, eat the same foods you do. So if you're a Pulp Fiction fan and have seen Fight Club 8 times, the right Facebook dating apps can hook you up with your ideal partner, who has done just the same - instead of someone who, like me, has watched Sound of Music eight times.
Once you have located potential soul mates, of course, you have to get to know them. Facebook has got you covered for that too. You've got two options. Firstly, you can try speed dating. Speed dating lets you meet any number of potential soul mates - send flirty messages to people you Like ,or have live 3-minute IM chat dates to connect with those soul mate matches. If that still takes too much time, not to worry. Simply make a list of what you're looking for in a soul mate, and assign the task to a virtual assistant in Bangalore.
All of this may eventually lead to an actual date with the flesh and blood version of your virtual soul mate. So, let's say you're back from that first date with your Facebook soul mate, and everything went exactly as you had hoped. You two really hit it off, instantaneously. You've met the guy/girl of your dreams. What's the first thing you do next day?
I'll give you a hint. I used to think that thumbs were useful for, like pressing the spacebar when you type or holding your fork when you eat. However, as I have belated discovered, the T in thumb really stands for thexting.
Yes, exactly, if the date went well, you send him or her an SMS. As more people are discovering every day, texting is a wonderful way to stay in touch while avoiding the inconvenience of actually having to have a conversation.
If the date went well, the SMS might go something like this:
TX 4 LST NTE. C U SN? 4U A3 BURMA LOSAS
Thanks for last night. See you soon? For you, anytime, anywhere, anyhow. Be upstairs and ready my angel. Laughing out softly and sexily.
On the other hand, if the date wasn't so hot, you won't be writing to that soul mate flop, you'll be writing to your best friend. Now the SMS will likely more look something like this:
1ST DT JST KISS. BT NO! AAQ. ATC HE = AI KVIM? IHD
First date, just keep it simple stupid. But no! Assume awkward questions. All things considered, he is an amazing idiot. Know what I mean? I have diarrhea.
In short, as I said. Facebook has changed our lives - forever. If you are not already on FB and Twitter, I besiege you: don't waste anymore time--sign up today! I promise you, your life will never be the same again.
Follow Eva Norlyk Smith, Ph.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/YogaUOnline